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And Your Reward Is Edible

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As a symbol for saving their lives from a demon attack, the hero is given a free bento box.

"I win. Gimme food."

A character is given food for his kind and selfless actions to the bystander in trouble. Or simply for accomplishing some random task.

Sometimes, the task itself consists of gathering the necessary ingredients to make the food reward in the first place. May overlap with Edible Collectible and Edible Treasure, especially in video games.

Compare Food as Bribe, Tastes Like Friendship, I Was Told There Would Be Cake. Borders on New Skill as Reward when your reward is a new cooking recipe. Contrast Denied Food as Punishment.


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  • A Dunkin Donuts commercial claims that its iced coffee is sufficient reward for a friend coming to help move.
  • This Whataburger ad which airs from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Inverted in an episode of Black God, where a girl is revealed to be an Improbable Weapon User after being bought a bowl of ramen.
  • The "Half-Price Club" in Ben-To is dedicated to getting half-price Bento at supermarkets. It's a fighting anime. The hero is knocked unconscious twice in his first two attempts to get cheap bento. The floors of supermarkets are left strewn with unconscious and bleeding shoppers.
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: As a token of gratitude for Kyojuro saving their lives from Slasher demon, Tomi and Fuku had decided to give Kyojuro a free bento box (while the rest of the bento boxes were bought by him).
  • Tubby also receives this treatment in an episode of the Little Lulu anime after inadvertently finding Lulu's pop's lucky gold piece in the mud, while making a mud cake to pass off as a real cake ( He and the others ate the entire cake that was intended for Lulu's pop).
  • Elma's preferred reward for any favor or victory in Miss Kobayashi's Dragon Maid. A fine example would be at the end of her battle with Tohru in chapter 64, where she says to Tohru "I win. Gimme food." This prompts a brief argument over who won and who should buy the other food, before Kobayashi says she'll just buy food for both of them.
  • My Hero Academia: Heroes: Rising: After they've spent the day helping out with various mundane tasks, the residents of Nabu Island reward Class 1-A by bringing a homemade feast to their agency's building.
  • In Silver Spoon, the standard reward for doing something good (like participating in the campus clean-up or winning the athletic competition with the nearby industrial school) is a Mongolian barbecue.
  • Par for the course in Toriko, since the food's what they're after in the first place.

    Comic Books 
  • An Archie story had Jughead rescuing Archie, Betty, Veronica and Reggie from a cave-in while they were exploring a cave. Pops rewards Jughead with a large plate full of hamburgers.
    Betty: How does it feel to be a hero, Juggie?
    Jughead: (balloon-bellied; picking his teeth with a toothpick) How does it feel? Nice and full!
  • A standard trope in British humour comics such as The Beano and The Dandy is for the Naughty Is Good main character's shenanigans to somehow, possibly inadvertently, help a rich adult, who rewards them with a "slap-up feed" at a restaurant (which for some reason is always bangers and mash, represented as a huge mountain of potato with sausages sticking out of it).
  • One The Simpsons comic had Bart eat hundreds of Krusty Burger meals to win a video game system as a prize, but it turned out the product was recalled due to causing epilepsy in lab rats, so instead he won the equivalent value in Krusty Burger meal coupons.

    Comic Strips 
  • In an old Donald Duck newspaper strip, Donald wins a pie-eating contest. When the judge holds him up by the arm and declares him the winner, Donald looks bloated and uncomfortable, but smiling because he won... until he discovers that First Prize is — you guessed it — a pie.

    Fan Fiction 
  • Old West: When Grace Glossy realizes she can't fix by herself the damages in her ranch, she reluctantly hires the muscle of Rattlesnake Jake. After the hard day's work, she rewards him with a meal instead of money like he expected. The outlaw isn't pleased until he realizes the meal to be the best he's had in ages.
  • The Simpsons: Team L.A.S.H.: When the Springfield Elementary gymnastics teams wins their first meet of the season in "A Liv of Their Own", Apu treats them all to Squishees.
  • Total Drama Legacy: The marshmallows handed out at the marshmallow ceremonies (as is Total Drama tradition) as well as the meals the winning teams are given after the international challenges.

    Film — Animated 
  • Subverted in Balto where Steele frames Balto by throwing sausage links that he stole himself from a butcher shop at Balto. The butcher blames Balto for stealing the sausages, then promptly rewards Steele with the sausages that he stole himself. That Steele is a complete jerk.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Ghostbusters (1984): Venkmann very formally gives Egon candy as a reward, saying, "You've earned it."
  • Seven Samurai: the peasants can only offer food to the samurai they hire to defend them from bandits. Even still, this means that the peasants don't have enough rice for themselves and must subsist on millet.
  • Daredevil (2003). Foggy Nelson gripes to Matt Murdock that their latest client paid in fish. As they are poverty lawyers, Matt explains that the client can't afford it but does go fishing on the weekend.
    Foggy: I go salsa dancing on the weekend but I don't shake my ass to pay the phone bill, you know what I'm saying?

  • Invoked by Ciaphas Cain in Death Or Glory; after spending the entire novel leading an epic trek to safety through Ork infested territory he's pleased to realise that the regiment that's been sent to meet his group of ragtag survivors is Valhallan and promptly asks for his long awaited cup of tanna.
  • There is a Clifford the Big Red Dog book where Clifford is rewarded with some meat by a meat truck driver after helping him with his truck while looking for Emily Elizabeth.
  • Discworld: Invoked by Malicia at the end of The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, as she insists it isn't a proper adventure unless the heroes get "a slap-up tea with cream buns" as a reward.
  • In Dragon Bones, the heroes, having eaten nothing but stale bread and mouldy cheese for quite some time, appreciate their edible reward for saving a village very much.
  • Encyclopedia Brown: Book 26, chapter 5 ("The Case of Grandma's Cookies") revolves around Ziggy Ketchum hiring Encyclopedia to retrieve a batch of chocolate chip cookies his grandmother gave him, which were stolen by a thief. When Encyclopedia retrieves them, Ziggy is so grateful that on top of the quarter he already paid, he shares the cookies with Encyclopedia.
  • As thanks for helping her restaurant become popular (and vengeance for criticizing her taste in food) in Girls Kingdom, Erisu sends the Ayakas cookies made to her tastes. They stop appreciating the gift after the first bite.
  • In Maniac Magee, Maniac's reward for untying Cobbles' Knotnote  is one extra-large pizza every week for a year. Ironically, he's allergic to pizza.
  • Marcus Didius Falco gripes that he's sometimes offered "payment in kind" from female clients, instead of money or a fine fish. Ironically in Venus in Copper the son of the Roman emperor rewards Falco with an enormous turbot, which leaves him stuck with the problem of finding a dish big enough to cook it in.
  • Children's book Nurse Nancy sees little Nancy taking care of her brother Tom when he scrapes his knee. Their mother is so impressed with Nancy's handling of the situation that she rewards Nancy with an extra cookie at lunchtime.
  • In the story "Tevye Strikes It Rich" by Sholem Aleichem, Tevye the dairy man finds two lost women on the road to Boiberik and transport them home. As a reward, the women's family load Tevye's wagon with lots of food and donate money for Tevye and his entire family.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who. At the end of "The Masque of Mandragora", the only reward the Doctor will accept from the Duke of San Martino for saving the world is a salami sandwich. Sure enough he's shown brandishing an enormous salami sausage during his departure.
  • Referenced in How I Met Your Mother: People helping friends move in exchange for beer and pizza.
  • The InBESTigators: In "The Case of the Pestering Prank Caller", Ezra's neighbour Mrs. Maniaci offers to bake The InBESTigators a rhubarb pie if they put an end to prank calls she has been receiving. Ezra immediately accepts and then explains that if you have ever had one of Mrs. Maniaci's rhubarb pies, then you know what a good deal this is.

    Mythology & Religion 
  • In the Book of Revelation from The Bible: Among six other promises, Jesus says that those who overcome will be given the right to eat from the Tree of Life, which is in the Paradise of God. He will also give them the "hidden manna", referring to the manna that was stored in a pot inside the Ark of the Covenant in the Book of Exodus.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Several role-playing games using counters for 'rubber points' (e.g. bennies, FATE-points et sim.) explicitly advise against using hard candies as markers because they tend to be eaten instead of used.
  • Exalted: Sidereals working for the Bureau of Destiny receive their salaries in the form of Ambrosia and Quintessence. Both are edible and delicious. Young Sidereals are advised not to eat their paycheques.

    Video Games 
  • ADOM: The reward you get from the Tiny Girl for rescuing her puppy from a scary cave? A piece of candy. The actual reward is the cave itself - it's a good place to train your stats, and has a guaranteed vault at the bottom.
  • In the Animal Crossing games, sometimes the villagers will give you fruit that is foreign to your town as a reward for doing them a favor.
  • ANNO: Mutationem: At Noctis City, Jos van Corn asks Ann to participate in a tournament to promote his business. After she wins the competition, Jos rewards her with free corn juice.
  • Quoth President Ronnie in Bad Dudes: "Thanks for saving me, Dudes! Let's go for a burger. Ha ha ha!"
  • Pretty much the whole point of Bar Oasis. Your goal is to try to fill the titular bar's shelves with alcohol. Though this can be inverted in Bar Oasis 2's "A Day in the Bar" mode. In that mode, if you do poorly, you lose those bottles of liquor.
  • A Bite at Freddy's: After a busy night of fending off the Talkshow animatronics and making sure the restaurant's food delivery system still works, Edward Bratch is treated to some barbecue ribs and fries cooked by the Fazbear Grill's manager.
  • In Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, your reward for killing Dracula is occasionally curry... the recurring food thrown by Soma Cruz.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, during Chapter 4, Monokuma holds everyone captive in a funhouse without any access to food until one of them commits murder. After the murder occurs, Monokuma rewards everyone with snacks.
  • The reward lists in Disgaea levels often include the various consumable items you can use to restore your stats mid-level.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series, food is pretty much Shop Fodder, apart from the fact you can use some of it in alchemy and some of it offers minor health/fatigue restoration. Some quests give you it as a flavor reward though, usually if you've helped someone dirt-poor (who has nothing more to offer) or who is just incredibly stingy.
    • The series also has a number of fantastic alcoholic beverages which are likewise given out as quest rewards. This is unsurprisingly common when completing quests for the owners or staff of bars and taverns.
    • At least one quest in Oblivion sees you get a free beer placed on a bar next to you during the course of a quest.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, several quests end with the offer of free food or drink. Thanks to the need to eat in Hardcore Mode and the Hyperactive Metabolism otherwise present in the game, this often amounts to free healing. For instance, helping save a wasteland rancher couple's mutant two-headed cows earns you ten pounds of steak, good for at least 300 points of health.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Common in Final Fantasy XI where some quests have non craftable food as reward, since food is Serious Business because of the stats this is often falls in either Too Awesome to Use or Joke Item.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII: Many sidequests in the Wildlands have food as a reward in addition to the usual stat boosts. Unusually for the trope, Lightning doesn't get to eat any of it (at the player's direction, anyways); her chocobo, the Angel of Valhalla, is wounded and refuses food from anyone but her, and the sustenance is all that stands between him and recovery.
    • Final Fantasy XIV also does this, with quest rewards frequently either a small coin which can be traded in for a bit of gil, or some comparably-leveled food. Sadly, as food only gives a tiny buff for the most part, most folks just pick the coin.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep the Million Dreams Award in Disney Town is a special type of ice cream, the particular variety of which is different depending on which of the playable characters receives it.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • The reward for clearing the cellar of the Typical Tavern is three glasses of Typical Tavern Swill, equivalent to a basic mixed drink (which can further be improved with the Disco Bandit skill Advanced Cocktailcrafting). Also, the final reward for finishing the side quest given from Inside Degrassi Knoll are a half-dozen Mushroom Fermenting Solutions, which can possibly be crafted into epic-level booze, some of the best in the game, depending on what mushrooms you ferment.
    • In this game, edibles are an important part of gameplay (they allow you to get more done each day, and may help you level up or grant a temporary status effect) so these are actually quite useful rewards.
    • It may be worth noting as well that meat itself is used as the game's main currency, both justifying and parodying the tendency for random monsters to be carrying money, often proportional to their difficulty level. However, meat can't be eaten, because who would be crazy enough to eat money?
  • The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom: Addison will reward Link with food, plus some other goodies, when he helps him steady his signs for Hudson Construction.
  • In the Monster Hunter series, the reward for completing certain quests is an upgrade to the Felyne kitchen (though not food itself). This includes adding additional menu items to the kitchen, upgrading the quality of an ingredient, adding a rotisserie spit that lets the player cook multiple steaks at once, etc.
  • In Ōkami, various characters offer you food after you've helped them out. Some, however, request that you wait until it's night.
  • Portal: GlaDOS claims that the reward for completing the test chambers is cake. Unfortunately...
  • In Potion Permit, clearing certain quests rewards you with food, usually Apple Juice from the Fair Trade quests at the town hall. Some villagers also give you the recipes for them so you can cook them yourself.
  • In ''Roots of Pacha, clearing certain Smoke Signals (quests) and winning races rewards you with food. Some villagers also give you the recipes for them so you can cook them yourself.
  • In Sam & Max Hit the Road, the Bigfoot shaman rewards Max with his prized medallion after he and Sam save the day; Max wastes little time in unwrapping his reward and wolfing it down.
    "Mmm, chocolatey, foil-wrapped goodness!"
  • Sonic Unleashed: The Chili Dogs that are obtainable from the Don Fachio Hot Dog Vendors upon successful completion of the missions they offer.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: One of Steve's Victory screens shows him noshing on a Steak.
  • Similarly, but more useful in the long term, there's a couple of side-events in Tales of the Abyss where you get recipes for helping people out. Cooking can be an important game mechanic for healing up between battles, so it's better than it sounds.
  • World of Warcraft tends to have these, with the reward being a healing item which is slightly better than the ones available at the time.
  • Yes, Your Grace: Some peasants are grateful enough for the help provided to them by King Eryk that they show up a few weeks later with a food item that can be added to the castle's food supplies.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • On Homestar Runner, The Cheat is frequently paid in food for his (lackluster) animating skills:
    • After seeing the music video for "Everybody to the Limit", Strong Bad offers to buy the Cheat a pizza.
    • In "New Boots", Strong Bad decides the Cheat's cartoon is worth "an iron cup full of Brunswick stew".
      Strong Bad: But lemme tell ya's. With a little extra effort, it would have been a trophy full of Steak-umms.
    • Coach Z offers the Cheat a slice of "chin-strap pizza" for doing a video for Coach Z's "Rap Song".
  • A darker variation occurs as of Survival of the Fittest v5, in which BKA winners also get food along with a new weapon. BKA stands for Best Kill Award.
  • Whateley Universe: Clover is rewarded a cookie by Palantir for helping with their mission.
    “Good work, Clover!” Pally said. “Have a cookie!”

    Web Video 
  • Subverted in Critical Role. After saving the city of Rexxentrum from both a Kryn invasion force and the unleashing of the ancient god of oblivion, the Mighty Nein first have to exonerate themselves from accusations of treason, then are told that their hotel rooms have been paid for by the Crown. They eagerly decide to eat out on the Empire's dime... only to find out that the bill does not cover their meals.
  • The TRY Channel: Of the random variety- one episode has Dermot and George trying Reese's; peanut butter is a bit of a Berserk Button, especially for Dermot. After George claims "There is no way you can get us to do this video," two Heineken's slide into view. Cue a resigned "Alright" from Dermot.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Critic, Jay discovers that the Oscar statuettes are actually chocolate.
    "Now I want one even more!"
    • And yes, he does eat one.
  • Subverted in one episode of Doug, where Doug finds an envelope containing a huge wad of money. Everyone (including the police, who give him back the envelope after it goes unclaimed for a whole month) tells him to keep the money, but he eventually discovers it was lost by a slightly loopy elderly woman. He does the right thing and returns the money, and she rewards him for his good deed with a pack of chewing gum. Afterwards, Judy, who saw the whole thing, takes Doug to the Honker Burger and buys him a milkshake, saying he earned it. Doug later reflected that the free shake was almost worth it.
  • DuckTales (2017): Toth-Ra's liberated followers give Scrooge a burrito to thank him for his help. While he's certainly not amused by this, he decides to go along and eat it, even admitting that it was very good.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In "Dim Lit Ed", the kids thought the prize for Double D's scavenger hunt (that requires more of intellectual and logic-ridden puzzles than physical searching) would be a jawbreaker.
  • The Loud House: In "Sister Act", Lana enters a recycling contest where its grand prize is Auntie Pam's slams, a huge ice cream sundae with all the flavors the ice cream parlor has to offer and wins. However, she and Lola spent the episode switching places to get out of things one twin didn't like doing, but the other wouldn't mind, and among them were a doctor and dentist appointment, with Lana getting an abscessed tooth and Lola coming down with a bad case of the flu, ailments that wouldn't have gotten any worse had the twins gone to their respective appointments in the first place, at which point their respective medical professionals would've caught and treated them right away. Because Lana avoided the dentist, she is unable to enjoy the sundae because of her toothache, which got considerably worse as she tried to enjoy it. The twins confess to what they did to their parents so their doctor and dentist don't lose their licenses for negligence and attend the appointments as themselves so their ailments can be treated; Lana isn't allowed back at Auntie Pam's until they see a dental x-ray.
  • At the end of the Mr. Bogus episode "Kung Fu Campout", Tommy offers a slice of cake to Bogus and Brattus, even after their attempts to claim the cake for themselves end up to naught. Justified, since Tommy probably did it as his way of thanking his two miniature companions for keeping Ratty and Mole away from the cake.
  • Quick Draw McGraw rewards his bloodhound companion Snuffles with a dog biscuit, which after eaten sends him into flights of ecstacy.
  • Scooby-Doo usually gets a pre-task reward of Scooby Snacks. Shaggy will get tempted by them as well, or some other concoction Daphne cooks up (and just happens to have handy).
  • Street Sharks: In the episode "First Shark", the Sharks save President David Horne from being gene-washed by Dr. Paradigm. Due to a combination of factors (including Paradigm having previously gene-washed the vice-president and another member of the White House staff, and making it look like the Sharks were the ones to try and gene-wash President Horne), he can't publicly show them any sympathy or give them the reward he really wants without getting kicked out of office (and apologizes for not being able to do so). So instead, he brings them a briefcase full of Humongo-Burgers, which they very much appreciate.
  • Total Drama:
    • The tradition for the eliminiation ceremony is to hand out some form of food to everyone who gets to stay. The default food is a marshmallow, while in Action and World Tour respectively the food is a chocolate Gilded Chris Award and a barf bag filled with peanuts. Revenge of the Island is the only season in which the eliminated contestant gets something too: a radioactive marshmallow, which they'd best not even come near, let alone consume.
    • In Pahkitew Island, there is no camp and the contestants have to forage and hunt for their own food. However, the team that wins and doesn't have to vote anyone off receives a sponsored dinner that night. It may be a questionable or marginally edible dinner, but it's dinner nonetheless.
    • Food is the reward for the winning team, in this case the Screaming Gophers, in "The Sucky Outdoors".
    • One of the treasure chests in "Search and Do Not Destroy" contains nothing better than a bag of chip. Duncan isn't happy with all the trouble he was made to go through for it, but a snack is a snack.
    • Hot coco is the reward for the winning team, in this case the Mutant Maggots, in "Ice Ice Baby".

    Real Life 
  • This is very common in the more traditional parts of the U.S. It is understood that when you enlist a gang of your friends and acquaintances for some big task like moving or yard/farm work, you will at the very least provide lunch or dinner.
  • Beer can be a "currency" among friends for small favours.
    • In Canada, a case of beer is a usually unstated automatic reward for helping someone move, fix their car, name your task that takes a good few hours out of a day.
    • "I'll give you beer if you edit my paper" is not an uncommon sentence among university students.
  • Lollipops at the doctor's office. Alternatively, the jar of sweets on the teacher's desk.
  • Going out for pizza or ice cream after winning a ball game or getting an "A" on one's report card.
  • Fast food contests such as McDonald's Monopoly and its clones offer numerous prizes, with the most common being "instant win" coupons for free food (usually items that don't carry game pieces).
  • Par for the course when training an animal. Some might be willing to work for just praise or toys, but the majority of critters learn best when an extra-good treat is the reward for a job well done.
  • Several bowl games in American College Football.
  • If you wish to thank a nurse for taking such good care of you, and you wish to send a gift to him/her (as opposed to just a thank-you note), edible gifts sent to the whole team s/he is part of (such as all the nurses on 2 West, as opposed to just that one nurse) are the best way to go. This is because many hospitals have policies against nurses and doctors accepting personal gifts (with a few exceptions, such as homemade items). If you send a consumable and relatively inexpensive item to the whole team (e.g. a fruit basket, one of those edible fruit arrangements, popcorn, chocolates, a cheese board, etc.), it doesn't create the appearance of a conflict of interest, bribery, or other impropriety.
  • Shakaishisou Sha a publisher of academic and educational material had the contract to publish Fighting Fantasy gamebooks in Japan and promised to invite the main authors Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson, if Shakaishisou Sha sold over 2 million copies. They easily cleared that mark and the two Brits were astonished at the grand feast the company threw for them. Later the pair learnt that the company, which normally has sales of 20,000 for their own publications, was about to be insolvent until the success of FF books saved them.